The rainy month of May is well behind us and with the soaring temperatures, so is the memory of spring. This is the perfect time of the year for barbecues, sunbathing, hikes in the woods and, of course, picnics! Pack up your favorite bites, snacks, and drinks, grab your friends (canine ones included) and some blankets and head on over to one of these beautiful oases of greenery, where the tumult of the city is humming far away in the distance. Just be sure to pack along your tick-repellent.
Without further ado, here are out top picnic spots with a view that you can enjoy in Vienna this summer.
A 42-hectar recreational area in the 14th district, flanking the grounds of the Penzing Clinic (formerly Otto Wagner Hospital), the Steinhof Grounds present nature-lovers with numerous winding alleys, hiking trails, small ponds, and camping meadows, perfect for walks, picnics or outdoor games. Dog-owners may prefer another suggestion on this list, as the grounds are off-limits to dogs.
Top tip: Head on over to the beautiful Art Nouveau architectural masterpiece, the Otto Wagner Steinhof Church, and to the Rosenthal Point for stunning photographs.
Location: Bordering the grounds of the Penzing Clinic to the south and along the Heschweg to the north, the recreational area is best accessed with the buses 46A and 46B (from Ottakring), Station Feuerwache Steinhof. The longer alternative includes a walk through the clinic grounds, if you get off at the 49 tram stop, Waidhausenstrasse (a long ride from the city center).
The “Red Mountain” is actually a hill with an elevation of 262 meters at the southwestern edge of Vienna, but you would not stumble into it, as it is surrounded by beautiful villas and houses, away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city. Large parts of the hill form a recreational area with alleyways, a water playground and meadows for sports and games. As the top of the hill is forested, the slopes facing the north and east of Vienna offer a beautiful panorama of the city to enjoy during your picnic. This park is also dog-friendly, having an enclosure specially for our canine friends.
Location: at the heart of the 13th district, the Roter Berg is located close to the Hietzing Hospital and the Speising Train Station (S80 from the Central Station). Alternatively, it is accessible from the bottom of the hill with the bus 54B, which you can take from the Ober St. Veit (U4) underground station.
On the south-western edge of Vienna, the Lainzer Zoo is the largest recreational area in Vienna, with 2,450 hectares of forested hills and beautiful meadows, as well as fenced off areas, where wild animals, such as deer, elk, and boar roam. The Hermes Villa, a former Habsburg summer residence and the favorite of Empress Sisi, is nestled snuggly in the Tiergarten, surrounded by landscaped gardens.
You will get the most breathtaking view of Vienna from the Tenno-Kogo Memorial, close to the St. Veiter Tor, where you can also stop for a picnic.
Location: At the very edge of the 13th district. There are seven gates through which the area can be accessed, three of which are more easily accessible. The Nikolaitor is perhaps the most accessible, as it is a few minutes away from the Hütteldorf train and underground station (line U4 from the city center). The Lainzer Tor, which is open year-round and hosts a visitor center, is the closest to the Hermes Villa. Outside of it, there is a parking lot and the final stop of the bus line 56B, which takes you to Hietzing underground station (line U4).
One of the most beautiful parks in Vienna, the grounds of the former palatial residence Pötzleinsdorf were originally designed and planted during the 18th century in the style of English gardens. In April and May, visitors can be delighted with the joyful view of blooming azaleas and rhododendrons along the edge of the wood, while year-round, romantic walks will take visitors through a magical ground lined with majestic trees (even giant sequoias), streams, views of the palace and cleared meadows. The Palace is currently separated from the park, but some romantic elements remained, such as pleasure houses and a bathing grotto.
There are many areas for sports and fitness lovers, with two football enclosures, a beach volleyball court, table tennis and fitness equipment, in addition to hiking. Families will be delighted by the playground and animal enclosures, with child-friendly dwarf goats and Carinthian sheep. One important thing to note is the presence of ticks, so picnickers beware, in the summertime especially.
Top tip: You will get the best view of Vienna from the Schafbergwiese, located on the southwestern side of the park.
Location: the park lies at the sloping hills of the Vienna Woods, at the northern edge of the 18th district and it is reachable by trams 41 (Pötzleinsdorf Stop) and 43 (Neuwaldegg Stop), both of which depart the city center at Schottentor.
Bellevuewiese and Am Himmel
The Bellevue meadow and Am Himmel are not a park per se. The Bellevue area used to be home to an eponymous palace, then a restaurant, which was eventually demolished in the 1982 and repurposed as a panoramic area. Am Himmel is a privately-run area, which boasts the Life Tree Circle and the Sisi Chappel as noteworthy attractions. The children’s playground would keep your little ones busy, while you can enjoy the view of Vienna and the waft of the nearby vineyards. You can skip the picnic basket at Am Himmel, as the Café Restaurant Oktogon will provide you with a delightful culinary experience and a breathtaking view.
Location: both areas are located in the 19th district, at the top of the Himmelstrasse, which is accessible by car. The closest bus stop is at the Cobenzl Parkplatz, where you can take the bus lines 38A (from Heiligenstadt) and 43A (from Neuwaldegg).
Top tip: Löwygrube Park
An off-the beaten path entry, this one would probably be a favorite among dog-lovers, as the entire park is conceived as an area free for our beloved quadrupeds. In the park, you will find extensive and well-kept lawns, a population of old trees, a children’s playground, a football field, seating, and a drinking fountain. And naturally, a wonderful view overlooking the tenth and eleventh districts, as well as the Kaisermühlen high-rise buildings.
Location: One of the best kept secrets in the tenth district, this park is located quite close to the Oberlaa Park, with the Safari Circus practically on its doorstep. You can access the park most conveniently either by getting off at the Altes Landgut (U1) underground station or taking a regional train (REX64) or S-bahn (S60) to Grillgasse Station.
We are confident our readers have their favorite picnic spots and we look forward to read about them in our comments’ section. Which of these spots do you feel inspired to take a picnic basket and some friends to? Let us know in the comments.
We thank this opportunity to wish our readers a beautiful summer break and visitors in Vienna a lovely stay.